- 23410 Greater Mack, St. Clair Shores, MI, 48080
- Overall User Rating:
- (9 ratings)
- 11 a.m-1 a.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-midnight Sun.
- Official Web Site:
Status: Going to a bar usually isn’t a challenge in itself, but at the Shores Inn in St. Clair Shores, every visit is an opportunity to test yourself and your commitment to beer.
Sixteen years ago, the eastside bar introduced the Hall of Foam, a contest that dares guests to drink one of each of the 150 beers the Shores Inn carries.
“You order every beer on our menu and when you complete this, you get your name on the Wall of Foam, a $50 gift certificate for the Shores Inn, $1 off domestic drafts for life and 20 percent off food for life,” explained Manager Karen Panetta. “It’s kind of a neat little beer challenge.”
Contestants can take their time drinking their way through beers from around the world, but Panetta says one customer completed the challenge in just three weeks (which averages out to about seven beers a day). “He was just on a mission.” A couple of hundred contenders already grace the wall.
Gear: No shoes, no shirt, no service at the Shores Inn. The causal dress code allows for an anything goes attitude.
Mood: Established 75 years ago, the Shores Inn has been undergoing some renovations over the last few months. The once-wooden bar top has been replaced with granite, a brick wall gives a loft-like look to the newer side of the venue, the bathrooms have been redone and the front door has been widened.
“It’s a relaxed, very casual atmosphere,” says 30-year-old Rachel Monaco of St. Clair Shores who has been frequenting the bar for the last seven years.
The Shores Inn elegantly mixes the old and the new using warm, dark wood tones, exposed ducts, metallic ceiling tiles, an expansive brick wall, slate floor tiles and wood beams. Soft lighting adds warmth to the space, which seats 250. A u-shaped bar helps divide the different seating areas which includes an outdoor, covered patio.
“This is a St. Clair Shores staple for the college community around here,” says server Alyssa Kafcas.
Expect to see the “freshly turned 21 year olds” Tuesday nights, says Panetta citing the $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon special. “They want cheap beer and they want to drink a lot. That’s the only night that we get that really young crowd.”
Most nights, the majority of the crowd will be in their late 20s, 30s and 40s.
Pick me up: The Shores Inn carries beers from across the world including Australia, Japan, China, Italy, Argentina, Holland and England (there is a list of most of the beers on the bar’s web site). Customers who participate in the Hall of Foam challenge pay for the beers they drink, and prices start around $4. The average bottle of beer is about $5.50.
Thursday night’s cater to local beer lovers with $3 Michigan brews like Bell’s Oberon Ale, Bell’s Best Brown Ale, Founder’s and Dragonmead.
“I’m a beer connoisseur,” says 26-year-old Kris Natschke of St. Clair Shores who celebrated his 21st, 22nd, and 23rd birthdays at the Shores Inn. “They have the best beer selection on the eastside.”
Though “not a beer person,” Monaco says she enjoys the “casual atmosphere and great food” Shores Inn offers.
On the menu, you’ll find staples like burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads, but you’ll also find items that go beyond bar basics like pastas, ribs, steaks and salmon.
“The perch is really good,” says Deborah Osgood of Grosse Pointe Farms who dined with her daughter Olivia late last week. “That’s why we come here. The food’s great.”
Entertainment: Three months ago, the Shores Inn reintroduced live music on Saturday nights after an unsuccessful attempt in 2011. The acoustic performances scheduled provide a better fit for the bar’s space. “We’re not really set up for a five or six-piece band, so if you get a big band, it’s too loud,” Panetta explained.
There are about three dozen flat-screen televisions tuned to sports and the lottery hung throughout the venue.
“It’s like any restaurant,” Kafcas says. “People don’t come here after 11 p.m. to just eat. They come for the experience.”